Young female vascular surgeons more likely to enter academia

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Abstract

Objective:

In the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women entering vascular surgery. Our goal was to evaluate the differences in career paths based on gender and to determine some of the factors that influence career decisions among young vascular surgeons.

Methods:

A 17-item web-based survey focusing on current employment status, reasons for choosing academic vs nonacademic positions, and career satisfaction was distributed to 900 members of the Society for Vascular Surgery who completed vascular surgery training in the past 10 years.

Results:

A total of 199 individuals responded to the survey (22.1%). The cohort included 49 (24.6%) women and 149 (74.9%) men. The majority of the respondents were non-Hispanic white (66.3%). Sixty-four percent of all respondents were younger than 40 years. Overall, 72.9% of women had applied to academic positions after their training compared with 58.8% of men. Women were more likely to apply for and to work in an academic setting (P = .0266 and P = .0198, respectively) and cited mentorship more frequently (P = .0474) as the reason for choosing an academic practice. Women respondents were less likely to have a spouse or children (P = .0269 and P < .001, respectively). More than 87.4% of all respondents were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their careers. However, men were more likely to be very satisfied compared with women (P = .0345).

Conclusions:

Career satisfaction remains high among young vascular surgeons. In this cohort of vascular surgery graduates, we found that women were more likely to pursue academic positions than men, with mentorship, ability to teach, and complexity of cases commonly cited as reasons for this career choice. However, whether young women stay in academia and what factors affect academic retention will need further evaluation.

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